Before and After: A Bare-Walled Bedroom Gets a Bold, One-of-a-Kind Makeover for $500

published Feb 22, 2023
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"Before" photo of a bed and wall/s before makeover. Plain gray wall, mattress on the floor

Bedroom redos take inspiration from all kinds of fun sources, including hotel rooms and even Billie Eilish music videos. This bedroom redo is another with unique origins, as it was inspired by a boutique in downtown Manhattan and a restaurant in Nolita.

Rebekah Skovron, a professional painter whose work you can find at @rebbypaints, says her bedroom before was “a newly built unfurnished apartment with gray paint, silver and gold accents, and a floor-to-ceiling window.”

“I loved the original space but really wanted it to reflect my quirky, colorful, and playful personality,” she says. “I had so many fun pieces of art I wanted to hang up, but on the bare gray walls, it didn’t look great. I knew I was going to need to come up with some creative DIY wallpaper.” The one problem? She didn’t know exactly what she wanted her wallpaper to look like — that is, until she took a stroll around NYC.

“I passed by a boutique store where there was a similar wallpaper concept,” Rebekah recalls. “It was that ‘aha’ moment when I knew what I needed to do with my room.” She snapped a few photos of the store and headed straight to the art store to buy multi-purpose paper and paint.

“I barely left my room for four days and dedicated all of my time to painting the blue ’tiles.'” Rebekah says. She affixed them to the wall with tape. “Some of the tiles reflect parts of my life, personality, passions, and personal legend. Other tiles were random thoughts that popped into my head during the process.”

Once the bare walls came to life, Rebekah purchased frames for some artwork she wanted to show off and had a friend come help her hang them a couple days later. (She also added frames around a few of her painted tiles for some texture variation.)

The next lightbulb moment Rebekah had was related to her bed. Rebekah had grown tired of her mattress on the floor, so she bought a basic wood and metal bed frame from Amazon for $100. But basic wasn’t going to cut it.

“One night I went to a bar in Nolita and the basement walls were full of ’60s shag rug as the wallpaper,” she says. “I had another ‘aha’ moment and ordered yellow faux fur to create my dream bed frame based on the basement of the bar.” Rebekah cut and hot-glued the faux fur to the Amazon frame, giving both the headboard and footboard a groovy upholstered look. As she puts it, “Big Bird entered the chat, and I’m so happy about it … I’m very tactile, too, so it’s perfect for me. No regrets.”

In terms of finishing touches, Rebekah recently decided to put her bed in the middle of the room, and she painted a nightstand in her same blue-and-white color palette with a cool freeform design to match the walls. Her total redo cost was about $500.

“I love how everything just came together through the inspiration of design, art, and creativity in NYC,” Rebekah says. “The after just really reflects who I am as a person and invites others to think about what each tile means.”

Her biggest design takeaway? You don’t have to feel rushed when it comes to creating a space you love! “The only thing I would change is not putting pressure on myself when my room was boring and letting the inspiration come naturally,” she says. Great things aren’t made overnight, and this process took a while to pull together … It was really annoying to have bare and empty walls with a bed on the floor for a while, but it was worth it.”

February is Bedroom Month on Apartment Therapy! We’re sharing stories all month about bedrooms — from how to sleep in them, decorate them, make the most of small ones, and so much more. Head over here to see them all!